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Thibs: Rose has taken 'next step' in rehab

Derrick Rose has gone 5-on-5 twice this week, the next step in his rehab. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose has "made the next step" in his rehab after participating in five-on-five drills in practice, according to Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, but the organization still isn't sure when the former MVP will return.

"The big thing is you have to recognize the intensity of practice is different than the intensity of a game," Thibodeau said after Thursday's shootaround as the Bulls prepared to face the Miami Heat. "So he's made the next step, he's got to do this for a while, there's no timetable, he's making good progress, he's right where he should be, we just want him to continue to concentrate on the rehab and when he's ready to go he'll go."

Rose spent some time after shootaround taking jumpers with his teammates. He said last week he "wouldn't mind" missing the rest of the season if his knee still didn't feel right.

Bulls center Nazr Mohammed said Rose doesn't appear to be working like a player who might sit the season.

"His rehab is going great. He is working hard. I see him everyday. He's working hard with the ambition of a guy who is trying to come back this year, not a a guy who is trying to wait and see what happens," Mohammed said Wednesday. "At the same time, we know Derrick is going to make the best decision for himself and for the team."

Rose had been cleared for regular contact for weeks, but began 5-on-5 drills on Monday during the Bulls' first post-All-Star break practice. He also went 5-on-5 Wednesday. A source who watched all of Monday's practice told ESPN's Chris Broussard that Rose looked "really good."

"The practice that he practiced on Monday was like the first time that he really got up-and-down so it's hard to really say," Richard Hamilton said Wednesday. "It wasn't like something where he's been going up-and-down for months and weeks then now you're like, 'Alright you know what.' It was the first time."

Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson told "The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show" last week on ESPN 1000 that Rose would participate in 5-on-5 drills after the All-Star break and the team will monitor how his body responds.

Information from ESPN's Josina Anderson contributed to this report.